John Updike, a writer famous for his short stories and novels exploring concerns of modern America, liked to write about American life. A&P is a short story written by John Updike and it is about a nineteen year old named Sammy who is a cashier for a grocery store called A& P. The setting is inside a grocery store on a Thursday afternoon in the middle of a small town north of Boston. The story begins when three girls walk into the grocery store with only their bathing suits on, which is unheard of for this small town. The girls’ appearance makes the few shoppers and store workers feel a uneasy. Sammy, the speaker, likes what he sees and many thoughts run through his head. The girls find the item they need, check out at Sammy’s register, and are told by the store manager in front of the entire store to wear decent clothes if they ever come to shop there again. While the girls are walking out, Sammy yells to the manager “I Quit” (Updike 271). The story concludes when Sammy walks out of the store. It is such an abrupt end to the story when Sammy quits his job. What makes him quit so suddenly? The manager was not upset with Sammy, but instead with the girls. This leads me to believe that Sammy quit his job at the A&P because he saw something in the girls that made him realize that working at the A& P would never fulfill his want for a better lifestyle. There may be other plausible reasons why Sammy chose to quit his job, however I will argue in this paper the why I am convinced Sammy decided to quit his job. Let’s start with his feelings.
Sammy realizes that he does not like what the people in his community stand for and I believe this made him quit his job so suddenly without any remorse. In this short story it is evident that Sammy does not think highly of the people who are shopping in the grocery store when he refers to them as “The sheep pushing their carts down the aisle” (Updike 269). In contrast, Sammy refers to one of... [continues]
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